Motorcycling Around the World With a Dog

Mango – A Worldtrippin’ Tibetan Terrier

The process of adopting a dog is not common knowledge for most. Patrick Schweizer, world traveler and software developer, however, adopted an exceptionally cuddly Tibetan Terrier cross-breed in the midst of Thailand’s jungle. Mango “Sticky Rice” Schweizer has since traveled in more countries than even I have – but let’s take this story from the beginning.

Back in 2011 Patrick and his girlfriend Sherrie set out to travel the world. The two of them jumped on their motorbikes and set off from Patrick’s hometown in the German southwest region of Swabia, heading in the general direction of Newfoundland, Sherrie’s home. Though the island off Canada’s east coast is about the size of Greece, it only counts around half a million inhabitants. Both avid globetrotters, they of course avoided the most direct route and instead kicked off the journey by going first from Germany to Mongolia.

Camping in the infinite Mongolian Steppe

There they sold their bikes and jetted off to Southeast Asia. After buying another pair of 125cc bikes in Malaysia, they then journeyed over to Thailand where Patrick met his brother for a little diving intermezzo.

Accustomed to rough waters, jagged cliffs and icy temperatures, it’s not surprising that Newfoundlanders have a natural aversion to diving.

Newfoundland beaches are not conducive to diving

In any case, it worked out pretty fortunately that rather than going diving that day, Sherrie instead decided to pay a visit to a local animal rights organization where she then worked for a fortnight. It doesn’t take much to connect the dots… Patrick arrived at the animal rights organization to pick up his girlfriend for continued globetrotting adventures, a Burmese family living in the nearby jungle had to leave the country and was able to take just one of their dogs (Mango senior) along. Mango and his fellow orphaned siblings were to be left behind – it wouldn’t have been long before the pups were fully grown adult dogs, starting to eat the villagers out of house and home.

**If you find yourself reincarnated as a stray dog in Thailand, chances are you’ve accumulated a whole heap of bad karma during your previous life**

Street dogs in Thailand lead an extremely unsatisfactory life, often spent avoiding rat poisoned food and stones, thrown by locals. Animal rights, or rather the general view of dogs as man’s best friend, have failed to extend beyond the western world. Elsewhere they are considered useful at best.

Surrounded by a litter of fluffy, cuddly bundles of fur, Patrick was just as charmed by the pups as his girlfriend was. The director of the animal rights organization approached him with the prospect of adopting one of the pups, managing to convince Patrick that adopting an untrained, half-year old dog that’s not yet been on a leash is in fact a fantastic idea.

“**Do you want a big dog or a small one?**”

They both decided they’d like a small dog, so the care centre’s vet plucked one of the five puppies from the litter, screaming with almost hysteric delight: “This would should be perfect!” Patrick’s convinced that it wouldn’t have made the slightest difference had they gone for a bigger dog.

The first meeting with Mango

Patrick and Sherrie obviously thought long and hard about the responsibilities they’d take on and whether they were up to the task. “It’s both an important and wonderful lesson to learn to not immediately think about yourself, but rather to feel a sudden and very real responsibility for another”, Patrick takes a moment before continuing, “but now we’re certain we made the right decision. Mango just gives back so much – he’s a truly magnificent dog”.

The journey continued on 1,200 kilometers north from Koh Tao up towards Chiang Mai. Though before the trio could even start, they had to figure out where Mango could ride. Patrick came up with an innovative solution and pops Mango inside the shopping basket at the front of the bike, strapping him in with an inverted dog harness and tying his leash to the basket.

German Engineering

And it all worked flawlessly! The only issue was that until just two weeks previous, six month-old Mango didn’t even know what a leash was. How was he expected to stay shackled to a shopping basket as it raced through Thailand?

So just a few kilometers into their journey and already no longer able to stand Mango’s moaning and pining, Sherrie begged Patrick to pull over. Though it seemed that Mango was only going through periods of discomfort and was in fact fairly content riding in his little basket, often holding his head up to enjoy the cool passing breeze. What could it have been that was making him so moody? “It took a bit of time before we realized that Mango was only grumpy when he was riding the bike at the back rather than the front of the pack. From then on he only rode up front and he had a great old time.”

Mango, Patrick and Sherrie in Canada. Almost time to go back home to Germany

The three of them then flew from Thailand to Canada where they did a roadtrip across America before heading back to Germany. There is even an ebook available where you can read about the whole epic adventure in much more detail. The first 18 pages are available as free sample.

**About the Author:**

Patrick, Mango and Niklas are part of the GoEuro Team. GoEuro is a Berlin-based startup that has developed a travel search engine for Europe. “We all have very different skill sets. Patrick for example belongs to the tech team, I studied Theater and Media Studies and Mango works as a mascot and consultant – but we all share a passion for traveling,” Niklas says, “that’s why we all work together on this project, which will make the search for transportation a lot faster and pleasant”.

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